How to read the Bible?

Last updated on March 3, 2022

How to read the Bible?

Reading the Bible can be both exciting and hard. It is important to understand that the Bible is like a little library. There are 66 books in it, written by different people in different times, with different purposes. We confess that God speaks to us through all the books in the Bible. But some are easier to understand than others, and some are more directly relevant to us than others.

The most important advice

Maybe the most important advice we can give you on this subject is: when you read the Bible, read it slowly, read it prayerfully, and read it expecting that God will speak to you through it.

Start with Genesis

A good place to start reading the Bible is at the beginning. In the book of Genesis you will read about how God created the world, how sin came into the world, and how the Lord started to create a people to honor Him. After that, go to the New Testament and read one or two of the Gospels telling about the life of Jesus. Mark is the shortest Gospel, and will give you a quick overview. John clearly shows that Jesus is the eternal Son of God.

Read the Psalms

Going back to the Old Testament, you may read some or all of the Psalms. This is a collection of songs to praise God. It will help you to focus on who God is. It is also a wonderful book because you will encounter all human emotions in it. However you may feel at a given moment, there will be a psalm to express that feeling and take it to God. In the New Testament again, read some of Paul’s letters. In Romans you get a very clear overview of God’s plan of salvation. Philippians teaches you how to find your joy in God and serve Him joyfully.

From front to back

After that, you may want to start reading the Bible from front to back. Do not worry if you don’t understand everything. Nobody does. That is why thousands of years after it is written, we are still being taught from it. In the Old Testament there may be long stretches that are difficult to understand or even boring. Still, try not to skip them. We learn a lot about God’s character, about living in this world, and about our need for a Savior from the Old Testament. To ensure that you are being spiritually fed every day, it might be good to read something from both the Old Testament and the New Testament every day.

After reading the whole Bible from front to back, it can also be helpful to focus on particular themes and see what the Bible has to say about them. The YouVersion Reading Plans are a great tool to do so. Click here for an overview of the reading plans we have written for you, or browse the YouVersion homepage for countless reading plans on various themes.

Read together with others

Finally, we are not Christians on our own. So reading the Bible is also not something that is just personal. Make sure that you go to a church where you hear God’s Word proclaimed. Good churches will also have house groups where you can read the Bible with other believers, and together learn more from the Word of God.

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